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Congress clears final Harvey aid package

by Leigh Jones & Evan Wilt
Posted 9/08/17, 11:58 am

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $15.3 billion Harvey relief package that also extends the federal debt ceiling and funds the government through Dec. 8. The U.S. Senate approved the measure Thursday after President Donald Trump brokered a deal with Democratic leaders Wednesday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, who opposed debt-limit increases during his time in the House, rallied Republicans in a closed-door meeting before Friday’s vote. The aid dollars, pending the president’s signature, will help ensure the Federal Emergency Management Agency won’t run out of money as it assists with Harvey’s aftermath in Texas and prepares for Hurricane Irma in Florida. Ninety Republicans voted against the measure, including one Texas lawmaker frustrated with the president’s deal-making. “It’s like the Washington that Trump campaigned against,” said Rep. Joe Barton, whose district covers mostly rural areas south of Dallas. “So, as much as I want to help Texas, I can’t vote for something that just is a blank check on the debt.” While Washington grapples with the cost of recovery, Texas residents continue cleanup and restoration efforts. Education officials say most Houston Independent School District campuses will open for the first day of school Monday. Some students will have to attend classes at neighboring schools while crews repair their campuses. South of Houston, ranchers fear thousands of cattle died during the storm, resulting in losses that could top tens of millions of dollars.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh is the news editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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